- S​weet dreams are made of this... Photo Credit:AFP

Emperor Charles

1w ago

1.4K

The Tifosi has found their new emperor, with the new emperor being crowned at Monza in front of his red wearing disciples.

Coming into Monza, the question wasn't would Ferrari win, but which one would send the Tifosi into raptures.

Friday was a mixed bag with the weather unable to make its mind up between overcast and pouring rain, but the result was still the same with Charles Leclerc topping the timesheets, as the wet track caught out Kimi Räikkönen and Sergio Pérez who suffered shunts which hampered their sessions.

Q​ualifying was sunny and looked odds on for back to back Ferrari pole positions, whilst further down the pack Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen would all be starting at the rear of the grid through penalties.

A​fter two fairly normal sessions which were dominated by laps being removed through track limits issues, it was time for Q3.

L​eclerc struck first with a lap time of 1:19.307, +0.039 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton and + 0.047 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas whilst Sebastian Vettel had a lap time deleted for abuse of track limits which left him down in fourth.

R​äikkönen suffered another shunt, this time at the parobolica, losing the rear end of the Alfa Romeo bringing out the red flag and ending the Finn's session.

The final elements of Q3 descended into farce as the remaining nine drivers queued up behind each other to get the best tow.

The result meant that they missed their slot to get a lap in and none of them could improve and leaving the grid as it was.

Despite rain in the morning, Sunday was baking hot which was a major positive for Ferrari and a disappointment for both Mercedes and Max Verstappen who had hoped the rain would neutralise the pack.

A​t the start Leclerc got away well, with Hamilton alongside as they approached the rettifilo before backing off as they squeezed through the rettifilo, further back Verstappen clipped the Armco as he tried to avoid the Racing Point of Pérez.

Renault's quick pace in qualifying arrived on race day, with Nico Hülkenberg passing Vettel into the roggia to move up to fourth, however, the Vettel repassed his countrymen by lap 3.

With Verstappen stuck at the back, Red Bull's only hope of a good result rested with Albon who went on the attack on the outside of the roggia passing Carlos Sainz Jr for eighth, but the Thai driver's hard work came to nought into the less with Sainz pushing Albon off into the gravel dropping Albon to thirteenth.

Hülkenberg's started to fall down the pack with teammate Ricciardo passing the German into the rettifilo for fifth spot.

T​hat became fourth after Vettel spun at the Ascari chicane with the German nearly causing a three-car pileup after rentering the track dangerously, which caused Stroll to spin and nearly send Pierre Gasly into the tyre barrier, for his actions, Vettel received a ten-second stop-go penalty and a wrecked front wing for his troubles.

A​fter the leaders had made their pitstops with Leclerc now on hard tyres and Hamilton on mediums, the Brit saw his opportunity at the roggia, but the Monegasque wasn't willing to give the Brit any room and caused the defending champion to take avoiding action.

S​ainz Jr's climb through the field ended just past halfway with a rare pitstop mistake from McLaren caused the right front wheel to come loose and put the Spaniard in retirement.

Two laps later Kvyat was next to fall out of the points with his Honda engine suffering an oil leak on the exit of the rettifilo which brought the Russian his third retirement of the season.

Up at the front Leclerc showed signs of cracking under pressure after going wide at the rettifilo which opened the door for Hamilton to have another crack at the Monegasque into the Curva grande which the Monegasque defended superbly.

H​amilton then made a rare mistake into the rettifilo as he locked up and had no other choice but to head down the escape road costing him second to his teammate Bottas.

But despite the Finn's best efforts, Leclerc hung on to take his second career win and Ferrari's 20th at Monza with Bottas a close second ahead of Hamilton, Ricciardo and Hülkenberg.

Hamilton's lead in the championship is now sixty-three points ahead of Bottas, with Verstappen ninety-nine points the Brit as the championship heads to the flyaway rounds.

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